Response

1. Watch this Smarthistory video: https://smarthistory.org/albrecht-durer-self-portrait-1500/ and look at the slides on Durer’s 1500 Self-Portrait from the Northern Renaissance Powerpoint presentation in Week 3.

Then write 10-20 sentences (2-4 paragraphs) responding to the questions below:

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2. Durer paints himself to look like Jesus Christ. Explain how this could be understood as an arrogant gesture. Then explain how this could be understood as a Christian, humble gesture. You could analyze the comparison I make in the Northern Renaissance Powerpoint between Durer and Kanye West. How do they seem to understand art-making in a similar way?

3. Then discuss: what is Durer telling us about artistic creation? How does making art relate to God or the divine? (This part may relate to Kanye, too.) How does Durer, like Raphael, insist on the artist as an intellectual and not simply somebody who makes stuff?

4. Finally: do you see Durer as expressing humility, arrogance or some of both? Justify your opinion with at least one piece of visual evidence.

5. Optional: are there other artists (any type of art) you might compare to Durer? In what way? You could include a picture of him/her if you want to.

Feel free to reply to classmates. (But you won’t be able to see their posts until you’ve written yours.) I think you could have fun discussion around this.

If you really want to be sophisticated, take a look at the short readings I linked you to last week about the “Author Function.” See if any of that seems relevant or helpful to your discussion.

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